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Tuesday, 3 December 1974
Page: 3004

Senator JESSOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -I refer the Minister representing the Minister for Labor and Immigration to a recent Press report which stated that privileged people are applying for benefits under the National Employment and Training scheme to the detriment of more needy people. Is the Minister aware that this is causing long delays in meeting the requirements of people properly seeking retraining and therefore considerably adding to administrative costs? Has the Government made any policy changes in respect to the NEAT scheme since its inception? What policy guidelines have been given to Department of Labor and Immigration employees to assist them in understanding the Government's scheme? If the Minister has not given clear written directions to his departmental officers, will he do so as a matter of urgency to avoid continuation of the confusion that seems to exist in the administration of this scheme, and to assist his departmental officers, many of whom appear to be in the dark and are obliged to make their own decisions on eligibility for benefits?

Senator BISHOP - The honourable senator calls for a lot of information in his question and I will seek it from the Minister, Mr Cameron. I would like to say briefly that when Mr Cameron announced this scheme it was not intended to apply to privileged people. It was intended to apply to people who might be able to increase their work capabilities and fit into the economy in particular job classifications. It was intended that such people would be trained for those jobs.

As a result of this great reform lots of applications have been received from people who do not know whether they qualify. I shall get full details in reply to Senator Jessop 's question.

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